NU Medical Center receives award for patient care
NEW ULM – New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) recently received the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care Award (small hospital category) from the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) for its social work services designed to provide better care coordination services to emergency department and clinic patients.
In July of 2012, Jennifer Wilde, Licensed Social Worker, started as the new Healthcare Coordinator for the NUMC Emergency Department (ED). Her position is designed to help NUMC patients spend less on healthcare while improving their health and making better use of the healthcare system and other available community resources. The funding for the position is shared by New Ulm Medical Center and South Country Health Alliance.
“People get admitted to the Emergency Department for different reasons,” said Wilde. “Some don’t have a primary care provider, or they can’t afford prescribed medications, or they have a mental health condition which is not being adequately treated. So that’s what I’m here for – to meet the patients’ needs better.”
The results of this program in its first six months are impressive.
Sixty-nine patients received a meaningful intervention by the social worker, resulting in a 41 percent reduction in ED visits and a 49 percent reduction in hospital admissions. Thirteen patients were admitted directly from the ED to a nursing home, preventing the cost of an inpatient hospital stay.
Wilde and NUMC Director of Operations Steve Schneider accepted the MHA award at a banquet in Minneapolis on May 17.
Allina Health also received the Community Benefit Award (large hospital category) for its investment in the Free Bikes 4 Kidz program, encouraging physical activity, supporting healthful eating, and maintaining a balanced life.
Last year, Allina Health partnered with the non-profit organization Free Bikes 4 Kidz to give 5,000 free bikes, helmets and concussion prevention information to underserved children throughout its service area. In Brown County and Sibley County, volunteers collected, refurbished and distributed more than 250 bikes and helmets to kids in need.